Da Hooley ceilidh band’s expert caller
The importance of the dance caller can’t be under-estimated. At many events there’s a mix of expertise, ages, languages and cultures. You may have the most talented musicians in your band but if the dance caller can’t relate to and engage the dancers, the whole event can fall flat! Too much time spent explaining the dance and the dancers lose interest; too little and the dancers drift off in confusion.
Our caller, Drew, has a great appreciation of the role and a real sense of fun! With many years of experience, he has learned how to ‘read the crowd’ so he’ll strike the perfect balance between firm instruction and ‘letting-them-get-on-with-it’. Drew also has a knack for gauging the right dance for the right audience at the right time.
“Your patience with the group in setting up the dances and fantastic selection of dances keeps even the locals on their toes.”
Using a wireless headset microphone, Drew is able to wander freely around the hall, encouraging people onto the floor, arranging the dancers and, if needed, matching up dance partners. Also if required, he will demonstrate dances (sometimes with the aid of a fellow band member) before getting the dancers to walk through the dance steps. Even once the dance has started, Drew can keep the dancers on track with useful prompts and directions.
Drew’s ability to deliver clear and concise instruction in an up-beat, easy-going manner has made us popular with some Edinburgh student bodies who often include large numbers of dancers for whom English is not their first language. Drew positively relishes the opportunity to introduce ‘ceilidh virgins’ to the joy of dancing.
“… your calling was clear and entertaining.”
Those same skills have also made us a favourite of several primary and secondary schools. Kids love ceilidh dancing and often pick up the instructions quickly. The younger ones especially enjoy having their playmates and parents all dancing together. We have some dances especially designed for younger kids and Drew can tailor the calling to a younger audience.
“I think you’ve converted a huge number of people to ceilidh dancing!”
We’re equally at home with a more-experienced crowd of dancers. Drew will take a step back from back from calling the more familiar dances to let the event flow. Equally likely, he will dip into his extensive repertoire of dances to find something with which to challenge the ability of the dancers to leave them thoroughly exhilarated.
Whatever your occasion, Drew will inject an infectious enthusiasm and energy with the aim of maximising the dancing pleasure for everyone on the floor.